If You Are in a Car Accident with a Police Car, Can You Recover Compensation?
Different laws apply to Texas police car accidents where the police officer is at fault. However, you still may be able to recover compensation for damages. Due to time limitations under the law, it is vital that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
The Texas Tort Claims Act allows you to sue the government if the employee driving the police car was negligent and the negligence resulted in your injuries. There is a reason that a different law applies to this type of accident. The doctrine of sovereign immunity applies to government and government officials. Furthermore, the doctrine states that the government cannot be sued without its consent. However, governments can waive their sovereign immunity in certain situations.
When Can You Sue in a Texas Police Car Accident?
When the injured party can prove negligence, they can bring a lawsuit against the government entity.
The following factors must exist for the government to be held liable:
- Damages resulted from the car accident or vehicle driven accident
- The accident caused property damage, physical injury or death
- The police officer was acting within the scope of his/her employment
- The officer would have been liable if he or she had been a private individual under the same circumstances
Keep in mind that caps exist on the amount of compensation that can be recovered. The Texas Tort Claims Act caps the recovery for a municipality at no more than $250,000 per person and $500,000 for each single occurrence for bodily injury or death. The limit for damaged property is $100,000.
Time Limitations on Filing Lawsuits
The statute of limitations (time limitation for filing a lawsuit) is six months from the date of the accident. This means your attorney must file the claim within the first six months. However, some cities have shorter time limits than others. For example, Houston has a 90-day limit and Austin has a 45-day limit.
Legal differences make it important to seek legal help with your claim.
Have you been injured in an accident with a police car?
At the San Antonio based Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz, we offer a free consultation to discuss your accident. Through decades of experience, we have handled cases all over Texas, from Dallas to Laredo.